Japan Customs Catches Over 30,000 Alleged IP Infringing Import Attempts in 2017

Japan’s Customs enforcement caught and prohibited entry of attempted imports of infringing items in about 30,600 cases, up from about 26,000 in 2016, according to the Ministry of Finance.

92.5% of the cases were caught going through the Postal Services and comprised only 43.5% of the overall volume of items caught, and freight imports with 7.5% of the cases were larger-volume attempts that made up the other 56.5% of items. This underscores how frequent but small quantity attempts to get infringing goods into Japan is a major issue. The number of individual items is the lowest in five years at 507,000, meaning that on average the average (caught) run of infringing products has fewer than 20 items in it.

Imitation fashion items in trademark violation (overall, trademark violations were 61.8% of the items) and headphone sets for design violations (overall, with these, design violations accounted for 26.7% of the items) were high on the charts of types of infringing products.

About 96% of all of the infringement cases caught came from China (PRC), Hong Kong, or South Korea, similar to recent years. Uneven growth of IP protection continues to keep East Asia unsettled.


Ministry of Finance detailed report on customs import prohibitions.

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